The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Asian Carp, Quagga, and Pollution...and that's just the beginning...

I love this photo shot from far above the earth on a cloudless day over the Great Lakes. It gives you a sense of the massive size and even depths of the lakes (Erie and Ontario are shallower and the greenish hues are probably algae blooms). The photo is clickable if you want to enlarge it to look more closely at each lake. Just click the 'back' button on your browser to return here.

90% of America's fresh, surface water is in these lakes, and about 20% of the entire world's fresh, surface water.

I've been asked many times what the ONE THING is that we can do to protect Lake Michigan and all of our Great Lakes. Is it stopping the Asian carp? Is it getting rid of the quagga mussel? How about cleaning up pollution?

The truth is that there is a constellation of threats to our Great Lakes.

As with any complex problem, the solution is usually equally complex.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is a multi-year approach to targeting these problems with not only legislation, but with funding.

EPA Chief Lisa Jackson announced the latest round of grants this week. She says:

“These grants are a long-overdue investment in a place that is home to millions of Americans, billions of dollars in economic activity, and 95 percent of our nation’s fresh surface water. It’s essential that we act today, and set a new standard of care for the next generation. President Obama has made protecting the Great Lakes a national priority. EPA is investing in a diverse network of partners to put boots on the ground and boats in the water to begin this historic Great Lakes restoration effort.”

Oh, there is one important thing we all can do. Write your representatives in Congress in support of the GLRI.

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